Posted by: Ele Quigan | May 12, 2010

Reviews of reviews…

Occasionally you read a really good review.  You know, one that doesn’t go to great lengths to re-explain the plot, or that “omg you have to read it” or basically is so badly articulated it puts you off the book/movie/whatever you were considering…

I today, read one of the best book reviews I have ever read.  I enjoyed it so much, I not only laughed and nearly spat water over my screen, I’ve been sending it around to a few people I know who also loved the book it discusses for us to quietly giggle behind our hands with the shame of agreeing…

Louisa May Alcott wrote a fantastic book in Little Women.  It appealed to all sorts of us (as referenced in the review ) with it’s slightly different characters, and the under current yearning of wanting to ‘do good’ as well as wanting something more.  While I was incredibly angry that Jo never married Laurie (I always fancied myself as a bit of Jo), and was always disappointed that he settled for the cheaper, trashy blonde sister in Amy, and of course that Jo married an older, even more boring man and had twin boys – I nevertheless spent many happy Saturday afternoons re-reading this book.

I read the above review and just about cried with laughter – as that’s the thing – the one fluffy sister, the angel who had no cracks – Beth (that’s even more angelic than Elizabeth) was just toooo good.  There’s angelic children, there’s well behaved young women, but to be realistic (and honest) they usually have something wrong with them to make them interesting.

Katy from What Katy Did got sick.  Heidi’s friend Clara couldn’t walk.  Pippi Longstocking?  I think she had ADHD.  Susan from The L the W and the W hit puberty, so our dear author CS Lewis wrote her off.   And Beth?  She was just so pure – the martyr who not only was unwell, suffered in quiet silence – and then she off and died!

Did Louisa May Alcott kill her off so generations of young women can say that there is no possibility of being that good?  Or did she kill her off cause she was just getting boring?  Or that she was bored of what people thought women should be like, to suffer in silence and quietly fade into the background?

I’m not entirely sure myself but when you see authors of the guardian saying “Die, drip, die” you’ve got to admit they’re on to something…



  1. I like this. more! 🙂

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